Artwork for podcast Happy Mama Movement with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz
#191 - Cultural Empowerment in Matrescence with Hend ElQady
Episode 19127th April 2022 • Happy Mama Movement with Amy Taylor-Kabbaz • Amy Taylor-Kabbaz
00:00:00 00:25:20

Share Episode

Shownotes

Ever since learning about matresence and the transformations it can bring, I really knew that this had the potential to resonate with Mamas all over the world. No matter what their experience has been.

Yet, several thoughts rose alongside the potential matresence holds. What about cultural differences, language differences, religious differences?

In getting closer to answering those very questions, I was honoured to meet Hend ElQady who reminded me of the potential that matresence has, while also reminding us of how common our struggles really are. Hend ElQady has joined me alongside my programs, taking in every breath and capturing the very essence of standing in your power and growing into the possibilities of the future.

Listen as Amy and Hend discuss:  

Expectations around being a good mother and the role of sacrifice within her culture which is seen as entirely ‘normal’ and necessary.     

  • The inner split and two versions of ourselves which challenge and can build immensely.      
  • Being graceful and getting through challenging times bit by bit.
  • The motherboard of motherhood which taps buttons that were never pressed before.

You can find out more about Hend via her Instagram at @themumvillage and find your own Mama Rising facilitator at mamarising.net. There needs to be a change in the way mothers are valued and seen in our society. We are here to spread the whispers of Matrescence together.

Transcripts

Speaker:

Welcome to the happy mama movement podcast.

Speaker:

I'm Amy Taylor-Kabbaz.

Speaker:

I would like to start by acknowledging the Gadigal people of the aura nation

Speaker:

on which this podcast is recorded as the traditional custodians of this land.

Speaker:

And pay my respects to the elders past, present and emerging.

Speaker:

And as this podcast is dedicated to the wisdom and knowledge of motherhood, I

Speaker:

would like to acknowledge the mothers of this land, the elders, their wisdom.

Speaker:

Their knowing and my own elders and teachers.

Speaker:

Welcome back everyone.

Speaker:

I'm so excited to share this interview with you today.

Speaker:

When I first heard of matresence and the transformation that this

Speaker:

can bring, I really knew deep in my bones that there was something here.

Speaker:

That this had the potential to resonate with Mamas all over the world.

Speaker:

No matter what their experience has been.

Speaker:

But I wondered.

Speaker:

What about cultural differences, language differences, religious differences?

Speaker:

Has the concept of matresence in the sense of it's a period of

Speaker:

transformation from the woman you were to the mother you are becoming.

Speaker:

Does that resonate with everybody?

Speaker:

Which is why I'm so honored to share with you this conversation with Hend.

Speaker:

I first met Hend when she joined one of my programs Redefine.

Speaker:

And then she went on to train as a Mama Rising facilitator and is now

Speaker:

a phenomenal coach and matresence activist in Egypt and the middle east.

Speaker:

What I love about the conversations with Hend is once again, I'm reminded

Speaker:

of the potential this has, but also how common our struggles are.

Speaker:

That the expectations around what it means to be a good mother, cross boundaries,

Speaker:

cross languages and cross cultures.

Speaker:

Although Hend's experience of what it meant to be a Mama is unique

Speaker:

to her part of the world, when you listen her story is so not unique.

Speaker:

Because as women, we are all here to break down that expectation of what it means to

Speaker:

be a good mother and a successful woman.

Speaker:

And matresence holds the key for that.

Speaker:

These conversations hold the key for this.

Speaker:

Enjoy this conversation and how inspiring it is to know what we are changing in

Speaker:

the world right now is really happening.

Speaker:

Hend, it is so good to see your smiling face.

Speaker:

And have you on this podcast, welcome.

Speaker:

Thank you, Amy for the invitation.

Speaker:

Aahh, I'm so excited to bring your energy and your story to

Speaker:

all of the Mamas that listen.

Speaker:

I would love to explore with you the idea that this concept of

Speaker:

matresence, really translates into all languages and cultures, that

Speaker:

this is a universal experience.

Speaker:

So to really tell that story, I would love for you to start by sharing with me

Speaker:

as you grew up, what was your expectation around being a mother and a woman?

Speaker:

Uh, as a kid, I always, saw Mums as superheroes.

Speaker:

Uh, they can do everything.

Speaker:

But when I started growing up, and getting into womanhood, you start hearing here

Speaker:

in Egypt, that Motherhood is a prison.

Speaker:

Uh, your life ends and you lose a lot and you should be

Speaker:

fully dedicated to your child.

Speaker:

And it's like, you don't exist.

Speaker:

I even, heard the sentence recently, when someone knew about

Speaker:

my current pregnancy and I shared the health issues I'm going through.

Speaker:

And the very first response was, it doesn't matter.

Speaker:

The most important thing that your child has a sibling.

Speaker:

And I was like, oh my God, the Mum is totally unseen in our culture.

Speaker:

Totally on scene.

Speaker:

You're just a channel to give birth to kids and you don't exist.

Speaker:

So that's what we hear all the time.

Speaker:

So, what is that like to grow up knowing that this is your future,

Speaker:

this is your assumed future, right?

Speaker:

It is assumed that all women will marry and have children and that therefore their

Speaker:

future involves this prison, as you say.

Speaker:

For you personally, what did that feel like growing up?

Speaker:

Um, for me personally, I didn't hear those words before I got pregnant.

Speaker:

So I wasn't that much loaded with these things, but for other

Speaker:

Mums they take the step because they're just obligated to do so.

Speaker:

Uh, you are a woman, you have to be a Mum.

Speaker:

They hate it from the beginning.

Speaker:

They are not excited, the worry.

Speaker:

They enter the experience with so much worries and lies and, uh, insecurities

Speaker:

that dictate their experience actually.

Speaker:

And is it okay to complain or be honest about the struggles

Speaker:

of motherhood in your culture?

Speaker:

No.

Speaker:

Nope.

Speaker:

You shouldn't complain.

Speaker:

You are a Mum and that's expected from being a Mum.

Speaker:

You should be, uh, always running around, you should be always suffering.

Speaker:

It's very hard, very hard.

Speaker:

And, uh, they add a religious layer on it that um, God will take away

Speaker:

your children or you will be punished.

Speaker:

This is not true.

Speaker:

This is not true.

Speaker:

It's a cultural thing.

Speaker:

Uh, we can complain.

Speaker:

It's okay.

Speaker:

We just always denied the Mums right, to just say I'm tired.

Speaker:

Wow.

Speaker:

So can I just clarify that?

Speaker:

So it feels like if you complained about being a Mum, God would take your child,

Speaker:

you would lose the right to be a mother.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

They say those lies to Mums but it's not true.

Speaker:

This silence themselves in worry and in fear, but it's not true.

Speaker:

So what was your experience of becoming a Mum then?

Speaker:

Oh, as you know, I'm an engineer.

Speaker:

I used to identify myself as a planner and achiever, always running around.

Speaker:

And when I became a Mum, like I hit the wall.

Speaker:

Nothing is going as planned.

Speaker:

And seeing everyone around me smelling the baby and having good times and

Speaker:

enjoying them, I felt like a failure, Amy.

Speaker:

It was so deep.

Speaker:

I felt like I'm the only one suffering.

Speaker:

Am I the only one not enjoying my baby?

Speaker:

I doubted myself with the very first step.

Speaker:

I doubted myself.

Speaker:

It was killing me.

Speaker:

I didn't like it.

Speaker:

Uh, I loved my daughter.

Speaker:

I love her.

Speaker:

We had a special bond.

Speaker:

At the same time, I hated motherhood.

Speaker:

Over time I had postpartum depression, postpartum anxiety and spots of rage.

Speaker:

I had the whole package actually.

Speaker:

You're an overachiever, even in that, I love that.

Speaker:

I always felt that the reason behind this, that I hated frictionism.

Speaker:

And as you always say, we don't get perfect.

Speaker:

We don't get angry.

Speaker:

We get perfect.

Speaker:

And I hated perfectionism.

Speaker:

So I got angry.

Speaker:

I got very angry, Amy.

Speaker:

I had rage.

Speaker:

I hated everything.

Speaker:

Sleeping time, nap time, my husband, everything.

Speaker:

Uh, so it was a very tough time at the beginning.

Speaker:

So when I heard about matresence, it hit me.

Speaker:

Really hit me.

Speaker:

It acknowledged that I am not the problem.

Speaker:

I am transitioning into something that's much, much bigger than me,

Speaker:

and I didn't learn how to do this.

Speaker:

I didn't know what to do.

Speaker:

I need support.

Speaker:

I need knowledge.

Speaker:

I need the way.

Speaker:

And really your t ransition is so tied in with your identity

Speaker:

and your cultural identity.

Speaker:

So you and I have had some beautiful conversations around this in a way there

Speaker:

was your self identity, which was this very, uh, successful, busy, hardworking,

Speaker:

ambitious version of yourself.

Speaker:

And yet the cultural assumptions around being a mother was the complete opposite.

Speaker:

I mean, we talk about the inner split.

Speaker:

Your inner split must've been like the grand canyon between

Speaker:

these two versions of yourself.

Speaker:

Yeah, because you are asked to be a very successful woman.

Speaker:

And at the same time, you should be the Supermum.

Speaker:

The Supermum that never rests.

Speaker:

My Mum, uh, when she calls me and what are you doing?

Speaker:

I'm resting.

Speaker:

Go find something to do.

Speaker:

Uh, okay.

Speaker:

You should be doing something all the way as a Mum for your home, for your kids.

Speaker:

Uh, so yeah.

Speaker:

Yeah, the split was huge.

Speaker:

Um, because you were asked to do both and to be perfectly both.

Speaker:

To give a hundred percent in both.

Speaker:

And what has it been like trying to transform that in your own way first?

Speaker:

We'll talk about what you do now with Mamas and you have done, you work with a

Speaker:

lot of Mums, a lot of women as a coach.

Speaker:

But for you yourself, how have you come to peace with this?

Speaker:

Even though it's an ongoing process.

Speaker:

I know.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

First thing I knew I was not the problem.

Speaker:

And this was a huge transformation because I started getting kinder to myself.

Speaker:

I Could empathise with myself..

Speaker:

I'm not beating myself up.

Speaker:

And then I started trying to help myself a bit, by bit.

Speaker:

Okay.

Speaker:

Let's see, how can I help myself in this?

Speaker:

I hit this and this and this about motherhood, what should I do?

Speaker:

And going into Redefine program with you and Mama Rising and The Birth of You too.

Speaker:

I started absorbing all of this and it really changed me

Speaker:

because, I understood every bit.

Speaker:

And I believe that there is more to understand and to learn.

Speaker:

Um, Motherhood, I always imagine it as you know, the movie Inside Out the cartoon.

Speaker:

Uh, yeah, the Motherboards in our brain.

Speaker:

And I think I always imagined Motherhood as it comes and taps on

Speaker:

buttons that were never pressed before.

Speaker:

To show you a strengthness you never knew.

Speaker:

To show you weaknesses, you never had any idea you had.

Speaker:

To show you love that you never experienced.

Speaker:

I never knew that I was not flexible.

Speaker:

I didn't have flexibility and motherhood after knowing about

Speaker:

matresence I now appreciate it as my experience to learn about flexibility.

Speaker:

I love that idea of the motherboard and the buttons that this pushes

Speaker:

that we didn't even know was there it was like a secret panel.

Speaker:

We didn't even know was there, isn't it.

Speaker:

That's a beautiful definition of matresence.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

I always feel like we see another version of ourselves.

Speaker:

We see, uh, in different contexts, in different situations with different

Speaker:

triggers and, and different us.

Speaker:

And we can do this being kind to ourselves.

Speaker:

So when you think about being a Mum now?

Speaker:

You're pregnant with your second child due at the end of July.

Speaker:

Yeah,

Speaker:

As you step into this next season of matresence because as we know with

Speaker:

each child, with each pregnancy, no matter how that pregnancy ends.

Speaker:

With each pregnancy, we enter another season of transition.

Speaker:

How are you feeling about being a Mama again?

Speaker:

Oh, actually, it's coming.

Speaker:

Give me another listen.

Speaker:

And it's grace.

Speaker:

I learned about disability in the first one, and I really believe in my heart.

Speaker:

This one is about being graceful.

Speaker:

I still having a lot of health issues in this pregnancy, low

Speaker:

blood pressure gut issues.

Speaker:

So I stayed the whole full month in bed.

Speaker:

My husband's doing everything.

Speaker:

My kid is always on TV.

Speaker:

It was hard.

Speaker:

It was hard, but I was taking it slowly.

Speaker:

I always told myself, take it gracefully.

Speaker:

It will end.

Speaker:

If I stay like this with a very low blood pressure, no problem.

Speaker:

And they started getting better at it bit by bit.

Speaker:

I'm on meds to help my blood pressure still now, but I feel grace it's okay.

Speaker:

Just a phase it's just season.

Speaker:

And when the baby comes, it will be another season.

Speaker:

I don't need to be on top of things.

Speaker:

I will find my way.

Speaker:

That's what I learned from the the first experience that I would

Speaker:

find my way, no matter what.

Speaker:

That's right.

Speaker:

And this belief that you need to be a Supermum, you know, busy, no

Speaker:

matter what, off that couch and you can't rest, you have to keep going.

Speaker:

That has been broken down through the challenges of this pregnancy.

Speaker:

Sometimes I think when I reflect on how I've learned through three children, it's

Speaker:

like, if, if it hadn't been that extreme, I don't know if I would've got the lesson.

Speaker:

It's like, I'm a slow learner.

Speaker:

Like the universe had to really, put me on that couch for 10 weeks,

Speaker:

but that third baby, otherwise I was never going to get it.

Speaker:

And I think sometimes these massive challenges are just the

Speaker:

most beautiful way of the universe trying to get our attention.

Speaker:

This is what you need.

Speaker:

This is what you need to learn right now.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

Yeah.

Speaker:

The ones that crack us, usually the one that teaches us.

Speaker:

A hundred percent.

Speaker:

Otherwise it's just a scratch and to go away and forget it.

Speaker:

So I really believe, yeah.

Speaker:

That motherhood comes and cracks us for this um, get into ourselves

Speaker:

inside ourselves, to know our true selves, our true values to discover.

Speaker:

As you say the lies that we were sold, that this is not true.

Speaker:

None of them, your words is not achieving or over busyness.

Speaker:

Can I ask you,

Speaker:

how do you feel about being a voice for this in your country, in your culture?

Speaker:

When it is so ingrained and conversations around the struggles

Speaker:

of motherhood are so not welcome.

Speaker:

And yet here you are fiercely speaking out both on this podcast,

Speaker:

obviously, but in your own business, in your community, on social media.

Speaker:

It blows my mind, Hend, how courageous this is.

Speaker:

I can't imagine, well, I can, what it would feel like to witness a

Speaker:

woman break down a religious belief that she has been holding and

Speaker:

realising that's not what God said.

Speaker:

Ah, it gives me goosebumps and tears, hend.

Speaker:

What is that like?

Speaker:

I really believe it's the awakening as you call it Amy.

Speaker:

They believe that no, actually God values motherhood.

Speaker:

And God talks about motherhood in the most beautiful way in Koran about motherhood.

Speaker:

And this is not true.

Speaker:

They start seeing the same text with different eyes.

Speaker:

It's valued.

Speaker:

It's understood.

Speaker:

So, they start valuing motherhood themselves.

Speaker:

They start feeling safer in motherhood because they will not save you.

Speaker:

Imagine you are not allowed to complain, you do not not exist,

Speaker:

you're unseen and so on and so on.

Speaker:

So on.

Speaker:

So, so once all of this is broken and you can see how motherhood

Speaker:

really is and how much it's valued.

Speaker:

They start to have a clear insights about motherhood.

Speaker:

Find their true selves as it always feels.

Speaker:

Wow.

Speaker:

What a phenomenal role, you play in these women's lives.

Speaker:

So as a Mama Rising facilitator, I think it's also really important

Speaker:

for us to take a moment and acknowledge the enormity of this.

Speaker:

Uh, acknowledging as most of us in this training and in this movement, are facing

Speaker:

this cultural revolution within ourselves at the same time as supporting others.

Speaker:

You are pregnant with your beautiful second child who will

Speaker:

be born in the next few months.

Speaker:

And yet you also have a huge calling.

Speaker:

You have this huge vision, you have this desire to create change.

Speaker:

In a real and sustainable way.

Speaker:

So I know that some days that might feel really overwhelming and

Speaker:

impossible, but when you're in your power, what do you tell yourself

Speaker:

about this mountain before you and the timing of it and who you are in this?

Speaker:

I tell myself that I don't care about the results anymore.

Speaker:

I'll just keep trying, keep moving.

Speaker:

I'm not waiting for the culture to change, now.

Speaker:

It will not happen in my lifetime.

Speaker:

It's a whole culture we are 90 million, I think in Egypt.

Speaker:

I'm going to spread the word and I'm not going to stop.

Speaker:

And the ripple effect when I go on, ah, give me all the goosebumps just

Speaker:

saying I'm going to spread the word.

Speaker:

And so you will.

Speaker:

And so you will.

Speaker:

Cause this is what happens.

Speaker:

If we want cultural change, the mothers are the first step because then the

Speaker:

daughters and the sons learn differently.

Speaker:

And maybe they will be the ones who speak up because that's what

Speaker:

you're starting to see in your beautiful daughter, aren't you?

Speaker:

She's not willing to stay silent.

Speaker:

No.

Speaker:

Yesterday I was asking her about reading school and she asked me about

Speaker:

mine and they told her what I did and it, oh Mummy, you did a lot of

Speaker:

things as you always do every day.

Speaker:

And I was proud of the tone of appreciation.

Speaker:

She told them, uh, I was really proud of her that she appreciates what a Mum does.

Speaker:

I love that so much.

Speaker:

Hend, you have, if anybody is going to create this ripple

Speaker:

of change, it will be you.

Speaker:

You are so bravely looking at your self first and then taking that into your work.

Speaker:

That's been the greatest privilege of witnessing you in this over the

Speaker:

last year or so is how much you are willing to look at your own stories

Speaker:

around who I should be and how I can't be angry and I need to be busy.

Speaker:

And so willing to question those and bravely have conversations with your

Speaker:

husband and with the people around you.

Speaker:

It's incredible to watch.

Speaker:

Thank you, Amy.

Speaker:

Thank you.

Speaker:

I don't know about.

Speaker:

But when I have conversations like this, I get so activated.

Speaker:

I get so excited about the possibilities for the future for women

Speaker:

and Mamas and families in general.

Speaker:

Instead of us celebrating, being busy and self-sacrificing, and being invisible

Speaker:

during these years, as Hend described, we get to stand in our power and be honest.

Speaker:

We love being a Mama, but we're also a woman and there are times when it's

Speaker:

hard and there's times where it is absolutely beautiful and both are okay.

Speaker:

You can follow along with Hend at her Instagram account,

Speaker:

themumvillage, and please message her.

Speaker:

Let her know what this interview and podcast meant to you.

Speaker:

And if you want to know more about what a Mama Rising facilitator

Speaker:

does and perhaps work with one.

Speaker:

Work with a coach, a facilitator on your own stories of being a Mama and a woman.

Speaker:

Then I am so excited to let you know that our mamarising.net website is now live.

Speaker:

Go there now explore these amazing women and how they are

Speaker:

here to support you and others.

Speaker:

Thank you for being a part of this conversation, Mama.

Speaker:

We change the way mothers are valued and seen in our society and our world

Speaker:

by bringing these conversations to light and spreading the whispers of matresence.

Speaker:

And so I ask you to be a part of this movement now.

Speaker:

Speak to others around you about matresence.

Speaker:

About your experience of motherhood.

Speaker:

Let's bring it to light together.

Speaker:

To find out more about my matresence.

Speaker:

Go to amytaylorkabbaz.com forward slashmatresence.

Speaker:

And receive your free ebook the matresence map.

Speaker:

So you can understand it even deeper.

Speaker:

Thank you for being a part of this.

Speaker:

Until next week.

Follow